The Daily Nole

Seminole Saturday Summary: Noles Rally Twice to Run Win Streak to 9, FSU Women’s Tennis Opens Season with Pair of Wins in Hawaii

Jeff Romance/FSU athletics

Florida State’s top-10 men’s hoops team twice trailed late this week. Twice, the ninth-ranked Seminoles came up with clutch late shots to earn victories and run their winning streak to nine.

On Wednesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center, reigning national champion Virginia led with under three minutes to play, but the Seminoles closed the game on a 10-3 run to come away with a 54-50 victory.

The Cavaliers had used an 8-0 run to take a 47-44 lead with less than two and a half minutes remaining. That’s when Antony Polite knocked down a corner 3-pointer to draw FSU even.

With 90 seconds to play, Trent Forrest knocked down a pair of free throws that put FSU ahead for good. Following a 10-second violation on Virginia, Devin Vassell helped put the game away with a big 3-pointer and a pair of free throws.

Vassell finished with a then career-high 18 points while Polite added 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting and 4 of 4 from deep. Mamade Diakite led Virginia with 16 points.

On Saturday, FSU again needed a big tying 3-pointer late, but got it from a different source in a thrilling come-from-behind overtime win at Miami, 83-79.

FSU trailed by nine with less than five minutes to play, but closed regulation on a 13-4 run to force overtime. With less than a minute to play, M.J. Walker hit the game-tying trey. Forrest would miss a jumper to win in regulation, but FSU never trailed in the extra period.

After a 3-point play from Malik Osborne put FSU ahead for good, Vassell again had five of Florida State’s final seven points to help put the game away. For the second straight game, Vassell finished with a career-high scoring, tallying 23 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.

Walker added 19 points — all after halftime — in the win. Trent Forrest had 12 points and five assists. Polite had 10 points and five steals.

Chris Lykes shot 6-for-10 from deep for Miami and led all scorers with 24 points. Dejan Vasiljevic and Kameron McGusty both shot better than 50 percent from the field, finishing with 19 and 15 points respectively for the Hurricanes in the loss.

Miami shot 47 percent to just 42 percent for FSU, but turned the ball over 24 times in the loss. The Hurricanes also shot just 10-for-17 from the foul line while FSU was 15-for-18.

FSU women’s tennis opened the 2020 season with two wins in Hawaii. (FSU athletics)

Florida State women’s tennis opened 2020 in Hawaii and the Seminoles opened up the season with a pair of victories, including a 4-3 win over Washington in a match-up of top-20 teams on Friday.

No. 16 FSU won the doubles points and proceeded to take three of the first five singles duals to clinch the match. After Victoria Allen and Nandini Das earned straight-set wins for the Seminoles, Andrea Garcia clinched the match with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 win over Washington’s Zoe Weil.

Sedona Gallagher and Vanessa Wong each collected straight-set wins for the 14th-ranked Huskies. Aside from Garcia’s clinching victory, the only other dual to go three sets came on Court 2 as Washington’s Natsuho Arakawa outlasted FSU’s Emmanuelle Salas, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6.

On Saturday, FSU improved to 2-0 with a 5-2 win over host Hawaii. FSU took the singles point, but dropped two of the first three singles duals before winning the last three.

With the contest knotted 2-2, Das, Salas and Sasha Hill put the match away with victories. Salas clinched the match for FSU with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Hawaii’s Lea Romain. Garcia also scored a singles victory for a second straight day.

Earning victories for Hawaii were Petra Melounova and Nikola Dolakova.


Recognitions: None
Weekly Commitments: Ladamian Webb, Unraked JUCO RB (Unranked)*
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 21 nationally, fourth in ACC (19 total commitments)*

Men’s Basketball

Record: 16-2 (6-1 ACC)
Ranking: No. 9 AP Poll; No. 9 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (2-0), defeated Virginia, 54-50; defeated Miami in overtime, 83-79
Upcoming: vs. Notre Dame (Saturday)
Recognitions: Trent Forrest, G (John Wooden Citizenship Cup finalist)
Weekly Commitments: None
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 26 nationally, sixth in ACC (3 total commitments)*
Big Picture: Florida State grinded out a couple of close victories this week to run its winning streak to nine. The Seminoles sit in a 2-way tie atop the ACC standings and should climb again this week in the polls.

Weekly Review

Virginia 50, (9) FSU 54
Wednesday, Jan. 15

Florida State started the game on an 11-2 run and closed it on a 10-3 run to defeat reigning national champion Virginia and win an eighth straight game on Wednesday night. Trailing 47-44 late, Anthony Polite tied the game for FSU with a 3-pointer before a pair of Trent Forrest free throws put the Seminoles ahead for good. Devin Vassell then hit a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to seal the win. FSU won despite shooting just 37 percent to 46 percent for Virginia. Vassell led all scorers with 18 points. Polite added 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting and a perfect 4 of 4 from distance. Mamadi Diakite finished with 16 points to lead Virginia.

(9) FSU 83, Miami 79
Saturday, Jan. 18 (Overtime)

Florida State trailed by nine points with less than five minutes to play but capped regulation on a 13-4 scoring run, which included M.J. Walker’s game-tying 3-pointer with less than a minute remaining. A 3-point play from Malik Osborne put the Seminoles ahead for good in overtime. Devin Vassell and Trent Forrest combined for the final nine FSU points. Miami’s Chris Lykes scored a game-high 24 points and shot 6-for-10 from deep, which included two big shots in overtime to twice pull the Hurricanes to within two. Dejan Vasiljevic finished 6-for-10 shooting with 19 points and Kameron McGusty added 15 points for Miami in the loss. Devin Vassell finished with a career-high 23 points to go with 11 rebounds and five assists. Walker tallied 19 points for FSU in the win. Miami shot 47 percent to 42 percent for the Seminoles, but turned the ball over 24 times and shot less than 59 percent from the charity stripe.

Women’s Basketball

Record: 15-3 (4-3 ACC)
Ranking: No. 13 AP Poll; No. 13 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (1-1), defeated North Carolina, 78-64; lost at NC State, 68-51
Upcoming: at Wake Forest (Thursday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: Since a 13-0 start, FSU has lost three of five games. The Seminoles do have a somewhat favorable stretch upcoming.

Weekly Review

North Carolina 64, (11) FSU 78
Sunday, Jan. 12

Florida State shot 57 percent from the field and overcame a sluggish start to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time this season. North Carolina led by four early in the second quarter, but FSU finished the first half strong and led by as many as 17 en route to an easy victory. Nausia Woolfolk and Nicki Ekhomu finished with 21 and 20 points, respectively, to lead the Seminoles. North Carolina’s Taylor Koenen led all scorers with 22 points.

(13) FSU 51, (9) NC State 68
Thursday, Jan. 16

Florida State shot just 36 percent from the field, 4-for-22 from beyond the 3-point arc and just 5-for-13 from the foul line as it was embarrassed by North Carolina State on Thursday night. The Wolfpack led by as many as 21 points in the victory. Elissa Cunane paced NC State with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Jakia Brown-Turner added 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting. FSU’s Kiah Gillespie led all scorers with 22 points. Nausia Woolfolk added 12 points in the loss.

Men’s Tennis

Record: 4-0
Ranking: None
Past Week: (1-0), defeated South Alabama, 5-2
Upcoming: vs. Mississippi State (Sunday); ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Friday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: Florida State remained undefeated with a win over South Alabama. The Seminoles will have their most difficult test thus far on Sunday against Mississippi State.

Weekly Review

South Alabama 2, FSU 5
Friday, Jan. 17

South Alabama scored a couple late singles victories, but Friday’s contest was over quickly. After FSU took the doubles point, Rana Roop Bhullar, Loris Pourroy and Sebastian Arcila all claimed straight-set victories for the Seminoles. Clement Marzol and Loic each claimed wins for the Jaguars.

Women’s Tennis

Record: 2-0
Ranking: No. 16 ITA
Past Week: (2-0), defeated Washington, 4-3; defeated Hawaii, 5-2
Upcoming: ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Saturday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: FSU got off to a nice start with a win over a top-15 team and then a road win to kick off the season. The Seminoles now prepare for ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

Weekly Review

(16) FSU 4, (14) Washington 3
Friday, Jan. 17 (Hawaii)

Florida State defeated Washington 4-3 in a season-opening battle of top-20 teams, but it wasn’t the nail-biter the final score would indicate. With FSU leading 3-2, Andrea Garcia clinched the victory for the Seminoles with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Washington’s Zoey Weil. Also claiming singles victories for the Seminoles were Victoria Allen and Nandini Das, who each won in straight sets.

(16) FSU 5, Hawaii 2
Saturday, Jan. 18

Florida State’s first road match of the season went the way the Seminoles had hoped. Emmanuelle Salas clinched the victory for Florida State with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over Hawaii’s Lea Romain. Andrea Garcia, Nandini Das and Sasha Hill all collected singles victories for FSU. Earning singles wins for the Sunbows were Petra Melounova and Nikola Dolakova.

Track and Field

Ranking: Men No. 1 USTFCCCA; Women No. 11 USTFCCCA
Past Week: FSU participated in the Vanderbilt Invitational
Upcoming: Bob Pollock Invitational (Friday and Saturday)
Recognitions: Trey Cunningham (ACC Men’s Track Performer of the Week); Isaac Grimes (ACC Men’s Field Performer of the Week); Jayla Kirkland (ACC Women’s Track Performer of the Week)
Big Picture: It was another strong showing for the Seminoles as they came away with two victories in Nashville.

Weekly Review

Vanderbilt Invitational
Friday, Jan. 17 to Saturday, Jan. 18

Florida State started off Friday with two victories, but that would be the only two of the weekend. In the men’s long jump, Isaac Grimes and Fabian Edoki claimed first and second for FSU. In the women’s 4,000-meter distance medley relay, FSU claimed first place with the team of Ellie Wallace, Kimmie Cunningham, Yasmine Abbes and Maudie Skyring. Skyring settled for second place in the 3,000 meters.

Swimming and Diving

Ranking: Men No. 14 CSCAA
Past Week: The FSU men defeated LSU while the women fell to the Tigers
Upcoming: Men vs. Florida Atlantic (Saturday); Women vs. Miami (Saturday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: Florida State’s men earned a solid road win while the women struggled against LSU. There will be just two more events for each team before the ACC Championships.

Weekly Review

Men: (14) FSU 153, LSU 145; Women: FSU 132, LSU 168
Friday, Jan. 17

Florida State claimed the top two spots in three different events as the Seminoles settled for a split with LSU on Friday night. In the women’s 1,000-yard freestyle, Maggie Emary and Stephanie Holmes claimed first and second for the Seminoles. In the 200-yard individual medley, FSU’s Nina Kucheran and Sydney VanOvermeiren took the top two spots. On the men’s side, Aziz Ghaffari and Scott Pekarske placed first and second in the 500-yard freestyle.

Other News

FSU hoops commitment Scottie Barnes is a nominee to play in the McDonald’s All-American game.

FSU baseball will begin the year ranked No. 12 in the Poll.

FSU defensive back Levonta Taylor participated in the NFLPA Bowl on Saturday in Pasadena.

FSU wide receiver Keith Gavin played in the East-West Shrine Bowl on Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Former FSU tight end Tre’ McKitty has signed with Georgia.

FSU football’s 2020 contest with Samford will be played as the Seminoles’ home opener on Sept. 12.

FSU hoops is working on a contract extension for head coach Leonard Hamilton.

Former FSU head volleyball coach Cecile Reynaud was inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall Of Fame.

*247Sports Composite rankings

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